Lately it seems like almost half of the articles I read are about someone’s opinion regarding how we should weigh. Either it’s that we’re too fat – and can’t possibly be healthy with all of that extra baggage (and we shouldn’t ever, ever forget how ashamed we should feel about that) or it’s that we shouldn’t worry about our weight at all, just be happy wherever we are. Sometimes the message is even about shaming thin people (a friend of mine who is blessed with a very thin frame told me that a stranger once approached her at the gym to inform her that she must be anorexic).
Realistically, all you have to do is look around a little to see that humankind comes in all shapes and sizes; yet to hear the chatter one would think that your body is only acceptable if it falls within a few points of a particular BMI.
For example, this woman in the UK has decided to ‘get fat’ in order to prove to all of us how a person can not be happy and overweight. Of course she is clearly missing that factors other than ‘laziness’ often come into play with regard to one’s weight like genetics, medical conditions, and psychological factors. She stands by her assertion that there is no valid reason to be fat (clearly she lacks mercy and love for her fellow man).
That’s why this short article was a refreshing read, the author tells us to focus on fitness instead of size and points out that a very thin person can have health problems just as a heavy person can be relatively healthy.
I can attest to that from my own life. When I was young and thin; I smoked, I never drank water (my drink of choice was a highly caffeinated yellow beverage if I remember correctly), I ate fast food daily – rarely even looking at a vegetable, I drove everywhere, and participated in zero exercise. I may have looked just fine on the outside but I assure you that I was not healthy, in fact I was often sick with a cold or general malaise. Today I could absolutely stand to lose a few pounds (I’m working on that) but I drink a ton of water and not much of anything else, I eat gluten free so my carb intake is limited, I consume lots of fruits and veggies, and I walk three miles almost every day (in addition to my Minute Movements) sometimes I don’t even get in the car for days. Regardless of the number on the scale or on the tag of my jeans I am positive that I am living a healthier life today than I was twenty years ago.
I’ve also found that focusing a number doesn’t seem to be the best method to attain sustained fitness. It’s too tempting to do something drastic (that will eventually result in backsliding) or to get overwhelmed and give up completely. Our philosophy is that by mindfully taking small, positive actions several times each day you will achieve success in any area of your life.
I would love to see us (ALL of us) switching our focus from outward shape to a focus on TRUE health. I’d love to see us recognizing people for all that they are – their hearts, their souls, and their character. I’d love to see the day when we recognize that we are all wounded in our own special way and begin to treat each other (and ourselves) with compassion.
Stop worrying about the numbers.